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The Run Free Alliance
a registered charity in England and Wales (no.1162858)
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About Us

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RFA campaign to abolish the breeding for and use of Beagles for animal experimentation by peacefully raising public awareness & working with regulatory bodies


This is why the OBJECTIVE OF THE ALLIANCE IS TO CAMPAIGN FOR THE UK GOVERNMENT TO ABOLISH THE BREEDING FOR, AND USE OF BEAGLES FOR ANIMAL SCIENTIFIC PROCEDURES AND EXPERIMENTS IN THE UK.

Whilst a similar campaign was established in 2011 within the Beagle Welfare Scheme, due to a change in circumstances in 2013, this has been re-created as the RUN FREE ALLIANCE and more information on the past can be found in the History Section.

A Management Team has been formed as shown below, and should you require any further information or make positive suggestions to help please use the contact email shown.

PATRON: Lady Emma Fellowes L.V.O.

Management Team:

Liz Cox
Sue Ding
Emma Fairhurst
Sue Starkey
Christine Wynne - Founder of the RUN FREE Campaign & Alliance
Stakeholder on the Home Office group ASPA

CONTACT: info@runfreealliance.com

Welcome

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In 2013 over
3440 Beagles were used in 4523 scientific experiments which is an increase year on year, despite the current UK Government's 'encouragement' that scientists should follow the 3R's principle to REPLACE, REFINE AND REDUCE the number of animals used in the UK.

Despite these thousands of Beagles subjected to experimentation, 96% of pre human clinical trials fail on Beagles, so do not progress any further



This is why the OBJECTIVE OF THE ALLIANCE IS TO CAMPAIGN FOR THE UK GOVERNMENT TO ABOLISH THE BREEDING FOR, AND USE OF BEAGLES FOR ANIMAL SCIENTIFIC PROCEDURES AND EXPERIMENTS IN THE UK.

Whilst a similar campaign was established in 2011 within the Beagle Welfare Scheme, due to a change in circumstances in 2013, this has been re-created as the RUN FREE ALLIANCE and more information on the past can be found in the History Section.

A Management Team has been formed as shown below, and should you require any further information or make positive suggestions to help please use the contact email shown.

PATRON: Lady Emma Fellowes L.V.O.

Management Team:

Liz Cox
Sue Ding
Emma Fairhurst
Sue Starkey
Christine Wynne - Founder of the RUN FREE Campaign & Alliance
Stakeholder on the Home Office group ASPA

CONTACT: info@runfreealliance.com

History

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In 2011 a breeding establishment in East Yorkshire applied for planning permission to increase the size of their facility to breed 2000 Beagles a year for sale to establishments for experimental purposes, which generated considerable publicity.

Fortunately East Yorkshire Council rejected this application, and a subsequent appeal was also rejected.

However this highlighted this abhorrent practice particularly to the general public who appeared to be under the impression that these procedures had ceased, so the Trustees of the Beagle Welfare Scheme subsequently identified a need to raise awareness of the broader issue of using animals - and in particular Beagles - for experimentation especially as there is substantive scientific evidence from respected global experts that more reliable results can be achieved by testing in vitro within a controlled laboratory environment without using animals.

Consequently, together with The Kennel Club it was decided the launch a nationwide campaign named RUN FREE, and this was shortly also supported by The Beagle Association, The Beagle Club, The Welsh Beagle Club, The Northern & Midland Counties Beagle Club and the Devon, Cornwall & South West Beagles Society.

During this period an e-petition (which currently has over 31,000 signatures) and a paper petition (which currently has over 5,000 signatures) was launched to present to HM Government urging them to abolish the breeding and use of Beagles for animal experimentation.

In September 2013, due to the resignation of the National Secretary of the Beagle Welfare Scheme, who was the Trustee who initiated and administered the campaign, the remaining Trustees requested that she continued with this programme under a new regime with the full approval and support of the Beagle Welfare Scheme.

Hence the RUN FREE ALLIANCE was established.

Our Aims and Campaign Strategy

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POSITION: All members of the Alliance are against the use of all animals and in particular BEAGLES
for animal scientific experimentation.

OBJECTIVE: To abolish the breeding for, and use of Beagles for animal scientific experimentation
in the UK.

Our strategy is to increase public awareness as the majority are unaware that these practices still continue.

We encourage supporters to write to their Members of Parliament to question what their stance is on animal experimentation.

We need to achieve 100,000 signatures on our petition to the UK Government so it can be delivered to the Prime Minister. Subsequently it would become eligible to be considered for Parliamentary debate, at which point having prior identified and approached a suitable MP to raise the case, a comprehensive briefing will take place to debate our line of reasoning.

We are fortunate to be represented by a management team member on the Home Office ASAP stakeholders group which contributes to any discussion, changes, recommendations and legislation relating to the Animal Scientific Procedures Act 1986 and its subsequent amendments.

Once the petition has reached 100,000 signatures we will continue to promote more signatures to strengthen our debate with scientists and those who govern us.

It is hoped that should the use of Beagles be abolished for animal experimentation, this could set a precedence for other animals subjected to this out-dated , unreliable and horrendous practice, at which time we will continue to support and campaign on their behalf.

We will promote the purchase and use of Cruelty Free products and issue current information and links.

Lulu's Story

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Lulu was an ex-laboratory Beagle and this is her story by kind permission of Sheila Stone (submitted in August 2012):

She was in a laboratory for the first 6-9 months of her life and rescued by a vet, and was then rehomed, but it would appear that she was subsequently rehomed again after being found in a garden in the Notts/Derbyshire area. She then lived with her previous owner until August 2011 and came into Beagle Welfare at the age of about 8 and a half when her previous owner had to go into rented accommodation and couldn't take her there.

There seems to be some discrepancy about her true age, her duplicate vaccination cert gives it as 22.9.03 but this may refer to the date when she was first seen by the vet from the veterinary practice who rescued her from the laboratory. So although Lulu was in a lab for a relatively short time, her subsequent life has been beset by illness and disability which she has constantly risen above - she is a really outstanding plucky little character.

It appears she developed cataracts at quite an early age, one of which was over-ripe and couldn't be removed but the other eye was operated on and now has maybe 30% vision and a condition called uveitis. Glaucoma developed in the other eye with the ripe cataract and the eye had to be removed. Cataracts/glaucoma/uveitis are all linked conditions and any one of them can trigger the other conditions, hence our need to continue to treat the uveitis in her 'good' eye with eye drops to prevent glaucoma developing and her losing her sight completely.

When she was adopted last August, she had a slight head tilt and very pronounced rear end wobble. This has subsequently been diagnosed as a neurological problem and at times seems to get worse so that very occasionally she falls over or 'loses' her back right leg, however she copes with all this ( as well as the very poor vision) and is always first at the door for walkies, even though she doesn't get very far when we do go out!

Last October she started to develop an incredibly fast growing tumour in her mouth which by Christmas was expected to lead to euthanasia within 7 days. However, in spite of the fact that she has a tumour under her tongue which has now pushed the teeth in her lower left jaw in all directions, she is still eating well, and enjoys a daily dentastix broken into several pieces. Further thickening of the tissues in her lower jaw is taking place but the tumour does not appear to be spreading to her glands, bone or other areas so she seems to have no pain, so it may be benign.

Recently Lulu seemed to be going downhill, again and the vet thought she might only have a few more weeks to go but once again she has turned a corner and is again enjoying all that life has to offer - she's such a little trooper, so full of life and such a happy little girl.

R.I.P. Lulu who passed away in December 2012 after losing her battle with the health problems that she fought throughout her short but brave life.

Although Lulu's experience in a laboratory environment was relatively short, the Alliance's objectives and aims are in memory of Lulu and the thousands of other Beagles who have not known the joy of being able to RUN FREE and experience the love and care which these wonderful hounds deserve.

The E-Petition

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Ancient medical research methods using animal experiments became popular in the Victorian era. Absurdly these methods continued today in the 21st Century, but there is now overwhelming evidence that this abhorrent practice could be eliminated due to major advances in scientific research whereby more accurate and dependable results could be achieved by using this new technology without using Beagles. In 2013 over 3440 Beagles were used in over 4523 procedures in the UK and thousands were bred specifically for this purpose.

Help the campaign end testing


I am Wellie and would love you to help my other Beagle friends who are not as lucky as me.

I have a nice warm home where I am loved and cuddled - my friends in laboratories don't.

I can RUN FREE in my large garden whenever I like - my friends in laboratories can't.

I like going to the lovely lady vet as she makes me better when I have done something silly, and I don't mind it when she puts a needle in me as it is to protect me against nasty things or make the pain go away and I get a treat for being a good boy - my friends in laboratories have needles and tubes put in them which makes them ill and they sometimes die.

I beg you to help these Beagles to enjoy my happy life in future as I can't talk, or write and type (mum is helping me with this), because you CAN talk, write and type.

If you want to help please click on the link to sign the RUN FREE ALLIANCE petition urging the UK government to ban the breeding of Beagles for animal experimentation and for the subsequent use of my friends for these horrible experiments.

Thank you, with slobber Beagle licks and kisses from Wellie.



If you would like to help us please click on the link and sign our petition.

There is overwhelming evidence that these abhorrent practices could be eliminated due to major advances in scientific research whereby more accurate and dependable results could be achieved by using this new technology without using Beagles You can sign the petition by clicking here.

Frequently Asked Questions

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WHY ARE BEAGLES USED FOR SCIENTIFIC EXPERIMENTATION?

This is a question that is frequently asked not only by group members but members of the public but unfortunately we have found no definitive scientific answer following extensive research. The only conclusion to be reached is that it is 'historic'. The first well documented mention occurs in the 1800's when the French physiologist Francois Magendie (1783-1855) and the Scottish anatomist Charles Bell (1744-1842) are credited with neurological research using Beagles. There is also a painting by Emile-Edouard Monchy depicting a Beagle being subjected to vivisection in 1832.

Other research has revealed quotes which also mention that Beagles are the dog breed most often used in animal testing due to their size and passive nature; they are easily maintained; they will eat almost anything (verified by anyone who owns a pet Beagle!) and have a trusting attitude towards humans.


CAN BEAGLES BE REHOMED FROM LABORATORIES?

Regrettably it is rare that Beagles are released from laboratories in to the public arena within the UK. Usually they are offered to staff, office staff or friends and family, as the socialisation and rehabilitation of a Beagle which has been institutionalised is a long and somewhat specialised process. Research establishments prefer to keep this information 'in house'. The reality is that many are euthanised due to the health issues which have resulted from the scientific experiments they have undergone.

However should the objectives of the RUN FREE Alliance to abolish the breeding for, and the subsequent use of these Beagles for animal experimentation be successful, it is understood that there is a contingency strategy in place for any legally released Beagles to be rehabilitated and socialised by experienced organisations for eventual rehoming into approved families to enjoy a loving existence in their natural environment.

Recently the state of Minnesota in the USA has approved legislation which mandates that if a dog is used in a tax-payer funded research experiment and is healthy, the laboratory must offer them for public adoption through a rescue organisation. It is not clear at this stage whether this legislation applies to privately funded research facilities.

WHAT TYPES OF RESEARCH ARE BEAGLES USED FOR?

There is a broad spectrum of categories which include: Fundamental biological research; Applied studies - human medicine or dentistry together with Protection of man, animals or environment. In 2013, 3442 Beagles were used in 4523 procedures. OVER 96% of trials on Beagles fail in human clinical trials.

BEAGLES ARE USED FOR TOXICOLOGY PROCEDURES - WHAT ARE THE AREAS?

Over 3757 toxicology procedures were carried out on Beagles in 2013 in the following sectors: Agriculture, Industry, Food additives, other foodstuffs, Pharmaceutical safety/efficacy evaluation i.e. safety testing, efficacy testing, quality control, ADME and residue, medical device safety, and medical development.

These procedures were carried out on 3750 Beagles.

WHERE ARE THE BEAGLES SOURCED FROM?

In 2013, 4779 Beagles were acquired from either within the designated establishment, another designated breeding or supplying establishment in the UK, other sources within the EU but outside the UK, and other sources not previously stated.

IS THE UK GOVERNMENT DOING ANYTHING TO REDUCE THE NUMBER OF BEAGLES USED FOR SCIENTIFIC EXPERIMENTATION?

Despite the Coalition stating when established that they would strive to reduce the number of animals used for experimentation, the number of Beagles used and the number of procedures carried out on them increased in 2013.

It took until February 2014 for this vague mandate announcement to be enlarged upon when Norman Baker MP, Minister for Crime Prevention, which department is also responsible for Animal Welfare. Mr. Baker launched a new government document calling for work to reduce, replace and refine the use of animals in research, known as 'the 3Rs'. The Delivery Plan is part of a commitment to create a science-led approach to reduce the use of animals in the biosciences.

The UK's National Centre for Replacement, Refinement and Reduction of Animals in Research (NC3R's) has been leading the way in this area, and has already invested over £35 million to support this work. As a result trials in certain areas have seen reductions in animal use, and a number of procedures have seen testing by other methods not using animals.

For further information the full delivery plan can be found at http://bit.ly/1lGgxXh
Several initiatives have been established to explore more replacement methods, details of which can be found in this document.

However a cautious comment has been made in the Delivery Plan - If the UK Government reacts unilaterally in banning the animal test, the work is likely to move overseas where welfare standards may be lower.

WHAT ALTERNATIVES CAN BE USED FOR TESTING RATHER THAN ANIMALS, AND HOW EFFECTIVE ARE THEY?

It is imperative that the development of new approaches in research is a priority to eliminate the proven unreliability of animal testing together with the cruelty and suffering of animals previously and current used. Consequently a number of international scientific organisations have called for the development of mechanism based alternatives that are more predictive of the human species and this has created attention being focused on non-animal technologies, such as tissue engineering, stem cells (both also known as in-vitro), mathematical and computer modelling (also referred to as in-silico) together with studies on human volunteers and human simulators.

In-vitro: Human cells are grown using the latest technology which imitate human organs and organ systems and are subsequently used instead of animals in disease research, drug testing and toxicity testing which have resulted in replicating human physiology, diseases and drug responses, the results of which are more accurate than animal experiments.

In-silico Modelling: Complex and high-tech computer models have been developed that simulate human physiology together with the advancement of new diseases, and studies have supported that these can accurately predict the effect that new drugs will react in the human species.

Human Volunteers: Micro-dosing is administered to human volunteers who are given a 'micro' drug dose and state of the art imaging (MRI) monitor and record how the drug acts in the human species. Micro-dosing can replace some tests on animals and results can determine if the drugs tested are unsuitable in humans.

Human Simulators: These have been developed to provide life-like and life-size computerised replicas of humans which can bleed, convulse, talk, bleed and 'die' and are extensively used in medical schools and research facilities rather than animals to explore physiology and pharmacology.

Effectiveness: So far the effectiveness of these mechanism based alternatives has been impressive and reliable, although it must be remembered that data building is still in its relatively early stages, particularly when compared to the data gathered over the many years of animal testing.

WHY DO SOME PRODUCTS SAY THAT THEY ARE 'NOT TESTED ON ANIMALS' BUT DON'T HAVE THE BUAV LEAPING BUNNY?

There is no hard and fast rule for this query as it depends on the company in question. It will generally boil down to one of two reasons:

> Packaging can be misleading - whilst the finished product may not have been tested on animals, the ingredients may have been. Unfortunately, companies that do test on animals generally try to mask that they do this, often by hiding behind clever advertiser's language.

> The company may be 100% cruelty free, but they haven't applied for BUAV status.

Not sure? There are lots of helpful websites which detail different organisations with animal testing policies and stance.

WHY ARE SOME COMPANIES NOT RECOGNISED AS CRUELTY FREE WHEN THEY CLEARLY STATE THEIR PRODUCT ISNíT TESTED ON ANIMALS?

Unfortunately, advertising, slogans and packaging can be very misleading and intentionally so. Companies don't want to attract negative attention or poor public opinion and so will often try to conceal their participation in animal testing behind deceptive wording and ambiguous emblems. To give an example, this statement appears to unequivocally state that the company does not test on animals:

"L'Oreal no longer tests on animals any of its products or any of its ingredients, anywhere in the world. Nor does L'Oreal delegate this task to others."

Seems pretty irrefutable, right? However, the above paragraph is immediately followed by:

"An exception could only be made if regulatory authorities demanded it for safety or regulatory purposes."

So what does this mean? In short, absolutely nothing. The opening sentences are a ploy to lull consumers into a false belief that this company doesn't engage in animal testing - whilst the closing sentence clearly states that they do. Unfortunately, the assurance given initially in that paragraph will be enough to convince many consumers into believing that company is cruelty free.

Companies will also label their products with logos such as rabbits, leaves or globes, so we associate the product with being cruelty free, organic or natural. Unfortunately, not all rabbit logos are a certification of cruelty free, but many shoppers will not differentiate between the Leaping Bunny logo and other, similar logos (which may hold no credentials at all).

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Supporters

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The Run Free Alliance are proud to have the support of the following celebrities who have helped bring the plight of beagles in the UK to thousands of their fans and online followers.

Norman Baker

Norman Baker

RUN FREE ALLIANCE have received the following statement of support today from Norman Baker Ė former Member of Parliament as Minister of State at the Home Office between 2013-2014, during which time one of his responsibility was for the Animal Scientific Regulation Unit. He sadly lost his seat representing Lewes in East Sussex.

"We need, for both scientific and ethical reasons, to do more to develop alternatives to the use of animals in experiments. The ground-breaking document I helped launched in early 2014, aimed at achieving just that, was a good springboard, but we need to go further."

"That is why I am happy to support organisations such as the Run Free Alliance who share this vision, and like them, I look forward to the day when it is no longer necessary to use animals, including beagles, in this way."


We have sent our very grateful thanks to Mr. Baker for his support.


Peter Egan

Peter Egan

I am totally opposed to animal testing of any kind. The predictors according to the science do not add up therefore making the practice flawed. This is ignored or skirted around by the practitioners, and the enormous benefit to humans is always put forward as a justification for a peculiar form of torture, which any human, with an iota of compassion, would reject. However putting the personal element of compassion aside I am also disturbed by the information contained in the following two paragraphs.

1. Around one third of the five million animal experiments carried out in the UK each year falls under the heading of 'basic research'.

Basic research is purely curiosity-driven and makes no claim to applicability, either in human or veterinary medicine. In the largest public survey of its kind, funded by the European Commission, 70 per cent of respondents said they opposed basic research that involves animals. The inescapable conclusion is that we, the taxpayer are funding cruel and pointless animal experiments against our will.

2. The government repeatedly offers assurances to the general public that animal welfare standards at our research institutions and laboratories are among the highest in the world. During 2012, a team of 18 Home Office inspectors were expected to monitor five million animal experiments being carried out at establishments throughout the UK. That this is a mission impossible as well as a betrayal of public trust is illustrated by the fact that numerous cases of animal abuse have recently been brought to light thanks to the courageous efforts of undercover investigations, including at some of our most prestigious universities.

Sia Furler

Sia Furler

I am so saddened and horrified to learn that animal testing is STILL going on. Please join me in supporting the Run Free Alliance to END ANIMAL TESTING, NOW!

Jodie Prenger

Jodie Prenger

Hi Iím Jodie Prenger. I just want to say thank you for supporting this cause. It takes just a couple of minutes to sign up and stop this cruelty. It's sad that in this day and age it still goes on but we can make a difference. Lets stop this and get the beautiful beagles tails wagging again.

Charlotte Ross

Charlotte Ross

2 time Emmy winner (GLEE/ NYPD BLUE)


I am shocked at the number of Beagles used in experiments in laboratories in the UK. I am adding my support to the Run Free Alliance campaign to end the suffering they endure in the name of science. My wish is that they are freed from this to live their lives, healthy and happy with a loving family.

Wendy Turner

Wendy Turner

I wholeheartedly support the campaigning work done by The Run Free Alliance. Beagles do not belong in laboratories. No animal deserves to suffer in this way, and the undercover footage which exposes these hidden cruelties is stomach turning to say the least. Please support the Run Free Alliance by speaking up for those who have no voice at all - the beautiful Beagles!

Gladstone Small

Gladstone Small

Beagles have no voice BUT you do. Help the RUN FREE ALLIANCE to put an end to using Beagles for animal experimentation - it is atrocious.

Carly Stenson

Carly Stenson

My name is Carley Stenson And I am in TOTAL support of Run Free Alliance and their goal to end testing on animals particularly the beautiful Beagles.

Dogs are loyal, caring and extremely loving creatures. They would do anything for you and want nothing in return. We reward them with tests that are extremely inhumane, cruel and proving pointless.

Please join myself and 'Run Free Alliance' in signing their petition and providing these innocent animals a chance to have 'a' life, the life that they deserve!

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